A victim of crime can get compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). WAR has won many cases over the years and campaigned for change.
Over the last few years, we have developed a network of survivors who are fighting for their compensation and want to campaign together.
Our campaign for fairer compensation spells out the main ways the CICA discriminates against victims of sexual violence. Some of our demands have been won, such as ending the ‘Same Roof Rule‘ (which had denied an award to victims abused by someone who lived under the Same Roof as their attacker before 1979). People who applied before or were put off applying had until 13 June 2021 to reapply.
And there have been some improvements made to prevent the CICA ruling that underage victims had consented to sex when it was rape. But our fight goes on.
We demand an end to discriminatory obstacles and rules:
- Stop refusing compensation to victims who have criminal convictions. In the five years to 2020 criminal convictions deprived 895 sexual assault victims of any award. PETITION - coming soon
- Victims not co-operating with a prosecution must not be penalised. Victims are often persecuted by police and this causes them to withdraw after reporting. They must not be penalised, as it is often due to trauma, intimidation or hostility by their attacker or by police . . . It must be investigated so that women are not discouraged from applying, as is their right.
- Police testimony is often valued over the victim’s, despite their well-documented prejudices like sexism, racism . . .
- The amounts granted for rape and sexual abuse must be raised, we demand a higher value on sex crimes (eg the rape award is just £11,000, but this crime can injure your whole life).
- Victims must not be re-traumatised in the application process. Decisions must be sped up. Hostile intimidating questions should not be asked at appeal hearings, often using outdated rape myths that blame victims for rape. It is outrageous that even those whose attacker was convicted can be invasively questioned by the CICA. Compensation is every victim’s right.
- Make legal aid and other help available so victims can get help. It’s unfair that at appeal hearings we are unrepresented against a CICA lawyer, or if we get a lawyer they take up to 25% of our award.
- The time limit to apply for compensation must be extended to five years (currently two years). Victims who delay reporting crimes to police late must not be penalised.
What you can do . . .
- Share our campaign materials.
- Write to the media to expose the injustices against victims of sexual violence in the Compensation Scheme.
- Contact us to get involved in the campaign.
Campaign victories, media, & what we’re fighting for . . .
PETITION coming soon to stop the government refusing compensation to victims who have criminal convictions
♦ Our comment on Government's planned review of CICA rules, 10 September 2018
♦ Independent article on the struggle of Kim Mitchell to get the compensation she is entitled to. She was refused because she had a minor conviction. This article also quotes us, and is a key demand we have put to the government, demanding they change this among other discrimination in the CICA rules, 30 July 2018
♦ Open Letter for compensation to Secretary of Justice - endorsed by dozens of organisations & experts, 15 March 2018
♦ Campaign update – survivor Alissa Moore in Parliament, 30 November 2017
♦ Christina McHugh, 27, raped when she was just 11, was denied compensation because of a conviction - Scottish Herald, 4 November 2017
♦ Hundreds of sex assault victims refused compensation due to criminal convictions, The Independent, 28 October 2017
♦ Guardian: High court rules in favour of victim who retracted under duress, by Helen Pidd, describing how a woman who reported her husband for rape was prosecuted for retracting and then was denied compensation, which we helped overturn. 1 August 2016